Local Time

Friday, March 25, 2005

No Plans to Invade Iran, Blair Insists

By Andrew Woodcock, PA Political Correspondent

There are no plans being made for a military invasion of Iran, Prime Minister Tony Blair has insisted in an interview released today.

“Iran is not Iraq,” Mr Blair told Muslim News. The search for a resolution to tensions over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions was being pursued only by diplomatic means “at the moment”, he said.

Mr Blair’s comments came in an interview, carried out at 10 Downing Street on March 1, in which he expressed hope that anger over the invasion of Iraq would not prevent Muslim voters backing Labour in the upcoming general election.

Mr Blair said he had “given up” trying to win over people who were fundamentally opposed to the war, but asked them to understand that terrorists, and not coalition forces, were responsible for the deaths taking place in Iraq now.

He called on Muslim voters to recognise that, whatever their opinions on the war, Labour had done a lot to help them over issues like setting up faith schools and introducing legislation to outlaw incitement to religious hatred.

“Although there have been some disagreements on some of the international issues – and I understand that and do not disrespect them... I hope in the end people realise we actually have done a lot to make progress,” he said.

Labour faces the possibility of an anti-war backlash in a number of normally safe seats with large Muslim populations, including Oona King’s Bethnal Green and Bow constituency in east London and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw’s Blackburn.

On Iran, Mr Blair said that the UK, France and Germany were leading the way on seeking a diplomatic solution, backed by the United States.

“Iran is not Iraq,” he said. “There are no plans for military invasion of Iran.

“The whole of the international community are saying to Iran, as it is saying to Syria now, ‘Abide by your obligations and try and help what is a great process of change happening in the Middle East today’.”

He added: “I don’t know of anybody planning military action against Iran. But there is a concerted effort by the European countries. France, Germany and the UK are working together, backed by America, to get the Iranians to understand their obligations under the Atomic Energy Authority rules.

“Let’s just pursue the diplomatic path for the moment. No-one is talking about anything else at the moment.”

The diplomatic approach to Iran was backed by Conservative leader Michael Howard, who was also interviewed for this month’s edition of Muslim News, published on Friday.

“The best way forward in relation to Iran is through negotiation and diplomacy,” said Mr Howard.

“There is some advantage in taking the question to the UN Security Council.”

Mr Howard restated his party’s opposition to the law against the incitement of religious hatred proposed in the Government’s Serious and Organised Crime Bill.

He said he was not sure it was possible to find a form of words that would provide such protection without harming free speech.

“I’m not against the principle of making incitement to religious hatred an offence,” said Mr Howard.

“But I haven’t yet seen a form of words which would achieve that result – and, unless and until I do, I will tend to oppose the clause.”

But Mr Blair insisted he would press ahead with the measure, which he said would not impact on free speech.

“I believe strongly in the freedom of expression and freedom of religion,” he said.

“But that’s completely different thing from freedom to incite hatred against a religion.

“The fact is that we’ve had the (legislation against) incitement to racial hatred, but people make jokes about race and there is no problem. Incitement to racial hatred has not led people being unable to implement their art or creativity.”

Challenged on the lack of Muslim representation in Parliament, Mr Blair acknowledged that Labour “should do more” and hoped to add to its tally of two Muslim MPs in the election.

Mr Howard said he very much hoped that the Conservatives will get at least two Muslim MPs in this year’s poll and “many more” in the next election.

IMAAN


1) There are basically 3 stages of Imaan. - The first level is the highest level of imaan, where you stop the wrong or the evil with your HANDS. - The second is when you try to stop the wrong deeds verbally with your TONGUE. - And the last level of imaan is when you at least FEEL the evil and the wrong as bad.

2) On the Day of Judgment, their would be no shade and everybody would stand under the bright sun BUT 7 kinds of people will get the shade of the "arsh" (throne)of Allah (swt) and one of the kind is the teenager who remembered Allah in his youth.

3) All the teenagers should think about this and try their best to be one of those teenagers who remember Allah in their youth and not go after their wishes in this world. Can you stop yourself from doing the wrong with your HANDS, TONGUE, or can you even FEEL that you are wrong? If so, then remember that Allah (swt) will reward you according to your level of imaan.

4) Allah (swt) says: "O MANKIND! WORSHIP YOUR LORD..." don't worship your society, and don't worship people or your friends or what they say about you. (Surah Bakhrah). Worship the Lord who created you. Allah is watching us and has promised us the reward of even a small good deed done in this world but at the same time, he also said that you would be punished for all the bad deeds unless you say TAUBAH and not do it again.

5) Each and every Muslim who reads the Kalima (La Ilaha Illallah Muhammadur Rasul Allah) has the responsibility of "representing" Islam in his character, personality and his traits.

6) Each and every muslim is supposed to share the information he/she has about Islam, and try his/her best to spread it. THAT'S HIS DUTY TODAY!

To educate a man is to educate an individual BUT to educate a woman is to educate a nation - Malcolm X

Your Bank's Worst Tricks

By Cliff D'Arcy (TMFCliff)
March 23, 2005

The UK's five biggest banks made a combined profit of £30 billion last year, which sounds like nice work if you can get it!

Don't get me wrong: I don't object to banks making bumper profits. After all, I'm a shareholder in HBOS, the UK's fourth-largest bank, so I've benefited from its success. What's more, I've defended the mega-profit of Royal Bank of Scotland, the UK's second-largest bank, in a TV interview. Also, it's worth noting that the UK's three biggest banks are among the top ten banks in the world - and our big banks make most of their profits abroad.

However, the conduct of our banks is less than squeaky clean here in the UK. What pulls my chain are the sneaky tricks that they use to seize more of our hard-earned cash. Here are my "unlucky thirteen" pet hates about banks. Most building societies behave similarly, but Nationwide BS is an honourable exception!

General gripes

1. New customers good, existing customers bad (with apologies to George Orwell!)

"New customers get better deals than loyal, lifelong customers." This sounds like a recipe for commercial disaster, doesn't it? Yet it's how almost all banks behave. (Nationwide BS is running a great advert at the moment that features an irritating banker who explains that his bank's best mortgage deals are reserved for "brand-new customers only"!)

Nationwide BS is one of a few mortgage lenders which give all borrowers access to their best rates. From my background in marketing, I know that it can cost up to ten times as much to recruit a new customer as it does to retain an existing customer. Thus, I believe that our banks' obsession with winning new customers is just plain daft. Guys: look after your faithful customers first - or someone else will!

The solution? Start looking for a new home loan with a visit to our Mortgage centre.

2. Selling over-priced insurance and investment policies

Ever heard of the Rule of Three? It's a law that I invented when I was a marketing manager back in the Nineties. It illustrates the price gap between products from high-street banks and rival Best Buys. A classic example is home insurance, where the premium charged by a policy from a high-street bank can be three times the cost of similar cover from a Best Buy provider.

In my experience, the Rule of Three neatly illustrates the wide variations in the cost of most financial products, such the interest payable on a personal loan, credit-card interest rates, plus premiums for car, home, life and travel insurance. So, if you don't want to fall foul of my Rule, don't buy these products on the high street!

The solution? Start your search for cheaper quotes in our Insurance centre.

3. Exploiting changes in the base rate

When the Bank of England changes its base rate, financial companies quickly follow suit. However, they are slow to cut mortgage rates when the base rate falls, and quick to raise them when the base rate is hiked! What's more, many banks sneakily use base-rate changes to increase their margins and profits. As this article proves, lenders exploit homeowners by tweaking interest rates to their advantage!

The solution? Find a happier home loan in our Mortgage centre.

Bad bank accounts

4. Holding up cheques and other payments


Although cheque use has almost halved since peaking in 1991, we still write nearly two billion cheques a year. However, if you pay in a cheque on, say, a Monday, you won't start earning interest on it until Wednesday at the earliest, when your bank "clears it for value". The worst accounts take up to ten days to clear cheques for interest purposes! And, while this money is in limbo, banks are making money and we're losing out. It's reckoned that banks make upwards of £60 million a year from these payment delays, yet already have the systems in place to provide same-day clearing.

There is another lacuna ("gap") when banks process electronic payments. I pay several bills using standing orders or BACS payments, yet these payments reach their recipients up to five working days after being debited from my account. In other words, banks earn up to five days' interest at my expense. An official taskforce is due to report on payment delays next month, but I'm not holding my breath!

5. Ridiculously expensive overdrafts

Only a loan shark would lend money at, say, APR of 100%+, correct? Nope! High-street banks normally charge sky-high rates and outrageous penalties on unauthorised overdrafts, as this article reveals. Which? estimates that UK banks make £3 billion a year from charges on unauthorised overdrafts. What's more, as well as interest on approved overdrafts, banks usually levy ongoing arrangement and review fees for larger overdraft limits.

Then again, if you've made a one-off slip-up, you can charm your bank into refunding or waiving these ridiculous fines. Once last year, my wife slipped over her fee-free overdraft limit for just a few days, and was hit with £2 of interest and a whopping £80 of charges. My strongly worded letter led to a prompt £80 refund, after our bank realised just how much it stood to lose if we moved our business elsewhere!

The solution? Find a brilliant bank account in our Online Banking centre.

Cruel credit cards (or "Weapons of Money Destruction"!)

6. Minimum monthly repayments on credit cards

As I explained in this article, minimum monthly repayments are pure evil. For example, a balance of £4,000 can take almost 54 years to pay off, thanks to minimum repayments of 2% a month! Shocking stuff, eh?

The solution? Don't pay interest on your plastic for up to nine months - get a 0% card today!

7. Charges on overseas transactions

As we explain in this article, banks sneak in an extra charge when you buy goods overseas or pay in a currency other than sterling when buying from foreign websites. Overseas purchases account for about a tenth (10%) of our total credit-card spending, or roughly a billion pounds a month. And, thanks to their sneaky 2.75% currency conversion charge, our banks pocket £330 million a year at our expense. Crikey!

The solution? When you go on holiday, take one of the Best Buy cards listed in this article.

8. Unfair treatment of repayments

Say you transfer an existing balance of £3,000 to a card that offers 0% interest on balance transfers for nine months (but charges 15.9% APR on purchases). You then buy £200 of goods on this new card and repay £200 after your statement arrives. If banks played fair, this £200 would be knocked off your £200 interest-bearing bill for purchases, agreed?

But banks don't play fair: 99% of cards use your repayment to knock £200 off your 0% debt. The upshot is that you'll start paying the standard interest rate on all of your purchases until you've cleared your entire bill in full. Ouch!

The solution? Choose a 0% card that doesn't charge interest on balance transfers AND purchases!

9. Late payment charges

If cardholders don't pay their bills on time, they should be penalised, if only to teach them a lesson and keep them on the straight and narrow in future. However, credit-card firms hit customers who pay late, bounce payments or breach their credit limit with a whopping £25 fine. Note that the vast majority of these computer-generated penalties involve little or no human intervention. Hence, banks are making hundreds of millions of pounds a year from these fines. Still, although I'm terribly forgetful, I don't suffer these fines any more, as I pay my minimum repayment (or my entire bill) by monthly Direct Debit.

10. Interest calculations on credit cards

You'd think that there would be one clear, government-approved way to calculate APRs (Annual Percentage Rates) for credit cards, wouldn't you? Then you'd be wrong, because there are up to eleven different ways to calculate card interest, as point three of this article demonstrates! Let's hope that the Treasury Select Committee (which is investigating this market) puts pressure on card issuers to bring in a single formula.

The solution? Take a breather from paying interest: get a 0% card!

Second-rate savings accounts

11. Dormant savings accounts

This scam makes my blood boil, because it hits the vulnerable hardest, including elderly and disabled consumers. Banks lure in savers with headline-grabbing rates and then quietly cut rates once demand slackens off. What starts out as a market-leading account can end up paying interest of as little as 0.1% a year, as this article reveals.

The solution? Open a high-interest savings account via our Savings centre.

Pathetic personal loans

12. Branch-based loans are very expensive

If you go into your local bank branch to arrange a personal loan, you might as well wear a T-shirt with "Please burn my money" on it! As we reveal in Five Ways To Find A Great Personal Loan, the high street is the worst place to arrange one, because you'll pay well over the odds. Which would you prefer: an interest bill of £500, or one of £1,500?

The solution? Check out the great deals in our Personal Loan centre.

13. Bank and insurers gang up to rip us off

Before joining the Fool, I spent eleven years in the payment protection insurance (PPI) market. This optional insurance is sold alongside personal loans, credit cards, mortgages, etc. However, PPI is massively overpriced, often poorly designed, and frequently mis-sold. My guess is that lenders are raking in about £4 billion a year of excess profits from pushing PPI. Indeed, in order to boost their returns even further, leading banks have become both lender and insurer. They have set up subsidiary "captive" insurance companies, many of which are located offshore, particularly in Ireland.

For example, Barclays, HBOS, Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland all use one or more "in house" insurers. This stifles competition and enables these firms to keep both "the penny and the bun". One industry insider told me that Barclays makes £450 million a year (about a tenth of its total annual profit) from pushing PPI. That's blatant profiteering, if ever I've seen it!

I hope that this article has opened your eyes to some of the everyday financial rip-offs. Good luck with your search for better products and providers!

15 Tips for Teens on How To Handle Pornography

It's hard, especially when you're a teenager and bombarded with images of sexuality: that hot-looking scantily clad guy or gal in the magazine, grinning at you and luring you; or the persistent emphasis on sex in the movies (even Toy Story!); or the pervasive links to pornography and ad banners that pop up while you may simply be checking your e-mail or researching something for school. How does a young Muslim protect him or herself from all of this?

Below are some tips that can help:

Tip #1: Know what is Halal and what's not
We may think only hard core pornography is Islamically unacceptable. This is not true.
Improperly dressed men and women, sexual situations, foreplay, kissing, touching, dirty jokes: none of these are Islamically acceptable.
Talk to a trusted Muslim friend, family member of the same gender or an Imam about this. Bring it up and ask them to give you the Islamic perspective.

Tip #2: Remember your accountability to Allah
In America and some other countries, you're fully responsible for your actions when you turn 18. In Islam, you're fully accountable as soon as you understand these things. So that means that from that point onwards, you cannot assume looking at this stuff is no big deal. Your eyes will testify about what you looked at on the Day of Judgment. Remember that Allah is always watching. He is Most Just and Merciful, and He rewards us for the good and punishes us for the bad we do.

Tip #3: Become conscious of the Haram
Too often, it's easy to dismiss that billboard with the spandex-and-bikini-top-clad blonde girl advertising gum, or the guy in tight leather pants and no shirt advertising perfume. When you see it, remember the Islamic perspective, your accountability to Allah, and lower your gaze. Do the same for television and the internet. If you keep doing this, Insha Allah, it'll become a habit, and eventually an automatic reaction.

Tip #4: If feeling overwhelmed, remember Allah
In situations where you feel overwhelmed and can't get yourself to switch the channel, close the browser window or turn your eyes away from the billboard, ask Allah's help. You don't necessarily need any heavy duty, long Duas. La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (there is no power or ability except with Allah) is short, simple, and reminds you who is really in control and can help you out of this.

Tip #5: Seek refuge in Allah from Shaytan
Shaytan lured you into this mess. Seeking refuge in Allah (saying Aoutho billahi minash Shaytan ir Rajeem), will help you resist him and his whisperings to continue looking at the material, Insha Allah.

Tip #6: Get up and leave
If you feel unable to control looking at the screen or the magazine, leave the situation. Get out of the living room, your bedroom where the internet is, or where you've been reading the magazine. Take a walk. Just do something to physically get out of the situation.

Tip #7: Avoid those involved in pornography
If one of your friends is into pornographic magazines, websites, dirty jokes etc. either help him or her change through gentle and sincere advice or abandon frequent contact with them. Their compulsion will affect you, so it's best to stay as far away as possible, by remembering the danger to yourself, your Deen, and your relationship with Allah.

Tip #8: Stay away from places where it's found
Sometimes it's on a billboard on a highway and you can't miss it. But often times, you'll notice certain parts of your city (the seedier ones) tend to be filled with this kind of material (where there are usually strip joints, for example). Avoid these places as much as you can. If it's on your way to school, try to change your route. Also, in summer, stay away from the beach.

Tip #9: Surf or watch T.V. when others are around
The temptation to sneak a look at dirty pictures or that bikini-clad babe is heightened when you're alone in your room watching television or surfing the internet. Try to avoid late night T.V. and internet surfing. Instead, watch or surf when others are around so you can resist the urge to sneak a peek, thinking no one's watching (and remember Allah is ALWAYS watching). It is a good idea not to have TV or computer in the bedroom anyway. Living room or study room are better place for this stuff.

Tip #10: Remember your example
If you have younger brothers and sisters, think of the bad example you're setting for them. What message will they get if they barge into your room and catch you watching Baywatch or flipping through Playboy.

Tip #11: For brothers-remember your mom and sister
Disgusting right? Exactly. No one in his right mind would look at his mom or sister the way many of us look at the Baywatch babes or the girls on the internet or in magazines. Remember mom and your sister, and that should sicken you enough to stop, Insha Allah.

Tip #12: Have someone watch over you
If you really feel you're becoming addicted (see http://www.soundvision.com) to this kind of material, try to watch TV, surf the internet with someone else. You don't have to tell them why you're doing this, but this method can perhaps keep you in check and help you avoid looking at pornography or other similar material. After all, Shaytan tempts us most easily when we're alone. Sitting in the company of a family member or good Muslim friend will Insha Allah, help.

Tip #13: Fast
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) advised us to fast to cool passions. This should be a method we use to handle the desire aroused by pornography and similar material.

Tip #14: Tauba: Return to Allah
If you do end up watching the bad stuff, repent to Allah. Seek His forgiveness, reaffirm your faith in Him, and do good deed to compensate for that sin. He is All-Forgiven as long as you are sincere.

Tip #15: Repent Again and Fine Yourself
If you lapse, do tauba again. Allah is All-Forgiving as long as we mean it. But then you need to discipline yourself by promising to yourself that if I did it again, I will pay this much in charity or fast for a day.
The message is that don't give up on yourself. Keep trying. Struggle is life. Shaitan could be creative. And with the help of Allah, you will be the winner insha Allah.
do end up watching the bad stuff, repent to Allah. Seek His forgiveness, reaffirm your faith in Him, and do good deed to compensate for that sin. He is All-Forgiven as long as you are sincere.

The message is that don't give up on yourself. Keep trying. Struggle is life. Shaitan could be creative. And with the help of Allah, you will be the winner insha Allah.

Sense of Humor in Islam

Islam is a religion or moderation and wisdom. What may look prohibited at first may become allowed in certain circumstances. For instance, it is not allowed to talk with non-mahram, except when seeking knowledge or help. It is not allowed to eat non-halal meat, except when there is nothing else to eat around. It is not allowed to write or read licentious poetry but useful poetry that deliver an Islamic message s good.
Same thing for human entertainment.

Joking is permitted in Islam in the condition that it is moderate.
Al Hafeth said, “What is prohibited is exaggerated or continuous joking as it distracts from worship of Allah and being serious about religious matters. This often leads to hard-heartedness, envy and loss of respect. Useful joking, which aims to calm people or entertain or relieve them
for a short time, is permissible.”

Permission on joking:
The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam. Abu Hurairah said that the prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, was told, “O Prophet of Allah, you are joking with us.” He said, “I only say what is true.” (Tirmithi) Another hadith relates that the prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, would
nickname Zeinab bint Um Salama by repeatedly calling her ‘O Zuweinab’.
Other Ahadith relate that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, would play and joke with small children. Thus we see that joking is a Sunnah. Sufyan bin Uyayna was asked, “ Is joking
prohibited?” He replied, “It is a Sunnah, but the point is that it must be done appropriately.” Many of the scholars agree that. Omar (Radhiallahu anhu) said, “ I admire the man who is like a child with his family (playful), and once he leaves them, he is more serious.” Thabit ibn Ubaid said, “Zayd ibn Thabit was one of the most humorous men in his home. Outside of his home, he was as serious as any man.”

It is also related that ibn Abbas asked some of his guests to have light and humorous conversation so that they would have a good time and not feel bored. Rabi’a said, “Virtue is made of six parts, three while in town (at the place of your home) and three while on a journey. The first three are reciting the Qur’an, frequently being at the mosque, and spreading the way of Allah to other lands.

The three parts while traveling are spending, showing virtuous behaviour and joking in what Allah has permitted.” Ibn Abbas said, “Joking appropriately is permissible, for the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, joked but he only said what was true.” Al Khalil bin Ahamd al
Fraheedi said, “People would feel imprisoned if they did not joke.”

Prohibition of joking:
On the other hand, some of the scholars have prohibited joking and they are supported by some Ahaddeth. It is related that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, “Everything has a beginning and hostility begins with joking.” Ja’far bin Muhammad said, “Beware of joking for it causes embarassment.” Ibrahim al-Nakh’i said, “Joking shows foolishness and arrogance.” Imam ibn Abdul Bar said, “Some of the scholars denounced joking for what it causes of offences, spite
and malice between people.”


2 Types of Joking:
According to ibn Hayan, there are two types of joking. The first is preferred and it is defined as, “that which Allah has permitted, which commits no sin and does not lead to separation between people.” The second is the negative, harmful kind: “causing hostilities and sadness, and creating some of the benefits and harms of joking will clarify what is meant. Some of the scholars have said that joking is beneficial in that it entertains, lifts the spirit and lightens the burdens of life, bringing people closer together. In describing this kind of joking, a man wrote, “such humour does not hurt or criticize anyone. It leads a person from sadness to happiness, eases the frown and allows people to relax and be themselves.” Joking defeats its purpose when it separates people, and causes hostilities and envy between them.

Guidelines for Humour:

Joking should not deviate from the truth. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, “I only say what is true.”

Joking should not become consistent in a person’s manner, for seriousness is also a virtue. Muhammad ibn Ar-Rashed said, “The issues of Islam are more serious than to be dealt with jokingly. Smiling, joking, relaxing and laughing are certainly welcome at appropriate times and places. But at times of work, seriousness is called for.

Bad language or reference to improper topics of converation may not be subject of jokes.

Joking must be at the appropriate time and place. Dr. Adel Shuweikh said, “Humour is most welcome after the Fajr prayer. He is supported by what has been related by Sammak bin Harb: “I asked Jaber ibn Samra if he spent time with the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, and he said,
‘Yes, the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, would often not leave the mosque after the Fajr prayer until the sun rose. They would be laughing and he would be smiling’ (Muslim).
He also said, “Another time for making light was after the Ishaa prayer. Humour is permitted with family uncles and siblings. It is more preferred if it serves the purpose of advice and guidance, or if it creates friendship and warmth between people.”

Imam Nawawi said, “Joking is prohibited when it is excessive and consistent. It becomes ineffective and causes the heart to harden. It distracts a person from worship of Allah and concern
with religious issues.”

Joking differently with different people:
Ath-Thahabi related that Khalaf ibn Salem said, “We were at Yazeed ibn Haroun’s and he made a joke. Ahmad ibn Hanbal cleared his throat, and Yazeed said, ‘Who cleared his throat?’ When he found out it who it had been, he put his hand on his forehead and cried, ‘Why didn’t you tell me
Ahmad ibn Hanbal was here so I would not joke?”

It was said, “Do not joke with children to the extent that they lose respect for you.” Ibn Hayan said, “Whoever jokes with an inappropriate person will lose that person’s respect, even if what he is saying is true. One should be selective with whom he jokes.”

Ibn al-Muqafa’ said, “One should separate his behavior between two groups of people. One group is made up of the public. Here he should be serious and purposeful with every word he speaks. The other group is made up of people who are closer to him. With this group, he should be
humorous and caring. Each of these behaviors will be beneficial and productive in the right place.”

Lets trust Almighty & 1 day at barber....

T R U S T

SURAH AL 'IMRAN

(The Family of Imran)
3:160


If Allah helps you,
None can overcome you:
If He forsakes you,
Who is there, after that,
That can help you?
In Allah, then,
Let Believers put their trust

Asalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh!

A man went to a barber shop to have his hair and his beard cut as always. He started to have a good conversation with the barber who attended him. They talked about so many things and various subjects.
Suddenly, they touched the subject of ALLAH. The barber said : "Look man, I don't believe that ALLAH exists as you say so." "Why do you say that?" Asked the client. Well, it's so easy, you just have to go out in the street to realize that ALLAH does not exist. Oh, tell me, if ALLAH existed, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If ALLAH existed, there would be no suffering nor pain. I can't think of a ALLAH who permits all of these things." The client stopped for a moment thinking but he didn't want to respond so as to prevent an argument.
The barber finished his job and the client went out of the shop. Just after he left the barber shop he saw a man in the street with a long hair and beard (it seems that it had been a long time since he had his cut and he looked so untidy). Then the client again entered the barber shop and he said to the barber : " know what? Barbers do not exist." "How come they don't exist?"-asked the barber. "Well I am here and I am a barber." "No!" - the client exclaimed. "They don't
exist because if they did there would be no people with long hair and beard like that man who walks in the street."
"Ah, barbers do exist, what happens is that people do not come to me." "Exactly!"- affirmed the client."That's the point. ALLAH does exist, what happens is people don't go to Him and do not look for Him that's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."
On the authority of Abu Harayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (PBUH) said: Allah the Almighty said:
I am as My servant thinks I am (1). I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assemble better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.
(1) Another possible rendering of the Arabic is: "I am as My servant expects Me to be". The meaning is that forgiveness and acceptance of repentance,dua by the Almighty is subject to His servant truly believing that He is forgiving and merciful. However, not to accompany such belief with right action would be to mock the Almighty.
It was related by al-Buhkari (also by Muslim, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn-Majah).

20 Tips to teach your young kids

How to handle Pornography

Some parents might think the only way to stop the infiltration of pornography into the minds of their children is by simply cutting off the source of the material. They would consider, for instance, not even installing or disconnecting the internet from the home.
But while this may solve the problem temporarily, it does not teach young Muslims how to deal with this material when they see it everywhere else: on television, billboards on the street, or magazines, for instance.
Nor does it encourage them to avoid this material when they have the opportunity to look at it outside of parental control.
Below are some tips to help your child avoid pornography whenever and wherever he or she encounters it. Please note though, this is not a comprehensive list of possibilities, nor should all of the strategies presented be used on your child. Choose the right ones that can help him or her depending on age, and previous exposure to pornography.

Tip #1: Establish your right and authority as a parent to know
This is not something done by yelling and screaming. It's done calmly in all aspects of family life, and should be made clear on other issues, like who has the final say to decide when is bedtime or who decides 14-year-old Ilyas's curfew. Establish parental authority gently and wisely. It's easier to do this when kids are young.

Tip #2: Know the Islamic perspective yourself
Obviously, you cannot give the Islamic perspective by simply talking off the top of your head. You'll need to do your homework. That means finding where in the Quran and Sunnah it says Muslims cannot look at this kind of material.
Additional research could also be done to find more reasons to not look at pornography-for instance, the danger to one's health, concentration, and the way it portrays human beings moms, sisters and daughters.

Tip #3: Teach by example
A son who sees his father ogling dirty magazines, episodes of Baywatch or sneaking peeks at XXX rated sites will, in most cases, not learn to lower his gaze, let alone respect most other aspects of Islamic modesty. Not to mention this dad will have some answering to do in the Court of Allah.

Tip #4: Instill accountability to Allah
Kids need to be gently reminded that Allah, who is very Merciful and Kind, is always watching them, even when mom and dad are not. That means not only should a person be good in front of parents, but more importantly, in front of Allah, who is always watching. This must be done in a way which does not scare the child or make him or her feel resentment towards Allah. Remind your son or daughter that the long-term payoff of this will be that they will be rewarded or punished for their deeds, Insha Allah.

Tip #5: Warn them about Allah's punishment and the Hellfire
While this should not be the sole focus of any Islamic upbringing, when it comes to the issue of pornography, reminding kids of Allah's punishment and the Hellfire could help them. But what should also be mentioned is that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful and if anyone asks His forgiveness and stops doing the wrong thing they were previously involved in, Insha Allah, Allah will forgive them.

Tip #6: Watch TV with them
You can do this by simply taking the remote control, and every time a scene comes up which is inappropriate, quickly changing the channel and making a sound of disgust. This can be used as a form of conditioning, where your child will see pornographic and/or inappropriate material (i.e. nudity, sexual situations, kissing, touching, etc.) and know that this is wrong by your reaction. He or she will associate the two, and Insha Allah, avoid looking at the material even if not under your supervision. Do the same for the internet, magazines and anywhere else it is found. This does not mean seeking these sites or magazines. Rather, when they are encountered, use that moment to show your reaction.

Tip #7: Make family time
Why do people turn to the media, whether it's television or the internet? Because apart from trying to learn or research something or communicating by e-mail, they have time to kill. In other words, they're often bored.
This is why family time at least once a week is important. Whether it's taking everyone out for ice cream on Friday night, going to the Masjid as a family on Sundays for classes and Halaqas, or playing a board game together, keeping the kids entertained the Halal way, together as a family, will reduce boredom and the need to turn to TV and the internet to have fun.

Tip #8: Get them involved in Halal activities
Is there a good young Muslim boys or girls group in your city? Get your son or daughter to join. If not, start one up with the cooperation of other parents. Also, get them involved in things like sports and helping the community, to keep them busy in Halal activities.

Tip #9: Check their friends
More often than not, kids get their information about sex from friends, who often end up misleading them, instead of guiding them. The same is true when it comes to pornographic material. If some friends of your children, you notice, are not involve with Islam or in wrong stuff, warn him or her. If they persist, talk to the parents, and if that does not work, keep your child away from this kid.
By the same token, help your kids befriend those who are practicing Muslims of the same age, who can provide them with fun and companionship, without sacrificing their Islamic principles.

Tip #10: Get involved with their school
If you want to really know what kind of material your kid is being taught and what kinds of ideas he or she is being exposed to, helping out in school is your ticket. Involvement brings access to teachers, the principal and discussion on what is being taught and what's talked about in class discussions. It also means that when you have something to say about the kind of material being viewed or talked about in your child's classroom, your opinion is more likely to be listened to.

Tip #11: When they're old enough, talk about pornography
This should be done in the context of a discussion on modesty, and it should be done discreetly, in a gradual way, according to their age . Talk openly and clearly, asking their opinion about this issue (this is a great way to indirectly find out what friends and peers at school are saying or doing about it), and give them the Islamic perspective.

Tip #12: Install filters or get an internet service which is porn free:
There are many safe surfing tools available for internet and there are TV sets which come equipped for parental blocking of some channels. Invest in these technologies.

Tip #13: Establish the ground rules when you get the internet
A good time to discuss the issue is when the internet is first installed in your home. Apart from setting hours for internet use for every family member, you can also make it clear what kind of material is acceptable to view or not.

Tip #14: Control of the password
To surf the internet, you usually need a password to access it from your computer. The only people in the house who should have this password when the kids are young are mom and dad. No one else. Parents should also keep changing it every couple of weeks or months so the kids don't figure it out.

Tip #15: Keep the computer and TV of the house in a high traffic area
It's harder to watch haram if the computer is in the living room or dining room.

Tip #16: If you catch them looking, get proof before you confront them
Don't respond in this kind of situation by losing your cool. Instead, gather all of the proof you can that they have gone on this site(s) or been looking at these kinds of magazines, for instance, first. This can be done by going to History on the menu bar of your browser to see which sites he or she viewed or has been viewing. You need to be very careful on how you do this. Because unnecessary suspicion may tell them that you do not trust them.

Tip #17: Assume the best and confront them
Don't attack Amina or Junaid if you've caught him/her. Talk openly without accusation. Confront them with the information you've found and ask why they were looking at these sites. If they say it was out of their control, it just came up while they were surfing, take their word for it. But mention again accountability to Allah and His punishment, and talk about trust- how it is broken when these type of things happen intentionally (and assume they are innocent).

Tip #18: Chaperone internet time, sometimes
This can be done occasionally, or it can be done regularly. But it's a good idea to have a "pop inspection", so the kids know mom or dad are watching while they surf or watch television. You could use the opportunity to show them some cool Islamic sites or the Discovery Channel, so they don't feel they are being pronounced guilty until proven innocent.

Tip #19: Have them build their own fabulous Islamic website
Help them build a great Islamic kids' home page or website, full of bright color, games, quizzes, and generally cool stuff so they can help other kids surf right too.

Tip #20: Consider removing the internet, cable, or TV, in the case of repeat offenses
If such sites continue to show up when you check on your kids, or one of them, warn them that if it happens again, the internet will be removed from the home permanently.

www.islamicinterlink.com

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

"My Lord! Enrich me with knowledge.."

The Pleasures of Learning
By Dr. Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph.D
"My Lord! Enrich me with knowledge.." - (Quran, 20:114)


The rise of Muslims to the zenith of civilization in a period of four decades was based on Al-lslam's emphasis on learning. This is obvious when one takes a look at the Qur'an and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (s) which are filled with references to learning, education, observation, and the use of reason. The very first verse of the Qur'an revealed to the Prophet of Al Islam on the night of 27th of Ramadan in 611 AD reads:

"Read: In the name of thy Lord who created man from a clot. Read: And thy Lord is the Most Generous Who taught by the pen, taught man that which he knew not." (Quran, 96:1-5)

"And they shall say had we but listened or used reason, we would not be among the inmates of the burning fire." (Quran, 67:10)

"Are those who have knowledge and those who have no knowledge alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful. " (Quran, 39:9)

And the Qur'an exhorts the Muslims to do scientific research:."And whoso bringeth the truth and believeth therein such are the dutiful." (Quran, 39:33)

Every Muslim man's and every Muslim woman's prayer should be: "My Lord! Enrich me with knowledge.." (Quran, 20:114)

The pursuit of knowledge and the use of reason, based on sense observation is made obligatory on every Muslim, man and woman.

The following traditions of the Prophet (s) supplement the foregoing teachings of the Qur'an in the following way:

Seek knowledge "even though it be in China." "The acquisition of knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim, whether male or female." "The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr." "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave." "God has revealed to me, 'Whoever walks in the pursuit of knowledge I facilitate for him the way to heaven.' "The best form of worship is the pursuit of knowledge." "Scholars should endeavor to spread knowledge and provide education to people who have been deprived of it. For, where knowledge is hidden it disappears." Some one asked the Prophet (SAS): "Who is the biggest scholar?" He replied: "He who is constantly trying to learn from others, for a scholar is ever hungry for more knowledge." "Seek for knowledge and. wisdom, or whatever the 'vessel from which it flows, you will never be the loser."

"Thinking deep for one hour (with sincerity) is better than 70 years of (mechanical) worship." "Worship, without knowledge, has no goodness in it and knowledge without understanding has no goodness in it. And the recitation of the Qur'an, which is riot thoughtful has no goodness in it." "To listen to the words of the learned and to instill unto others the lessons of science is better than religious exercises." "Acquire knowledge: it enables its possessor to distinguish right from the wrong, it lights the way to heaven; it is Our friend in the desert, our society in solitude, our companion when friendless- it guides us to happiness; it sustains us in misery; it is an Ornament among friends and an armor against enemies." The Islamic Empire for more than 1,000 years remained the most advanced and civilized nation in the world. .This is because Al-Islam stressed the importance and respect of learning, forbade destruction, developed in Muslims the respect for authority, discipline, and
tolerance for other religions. The teachings of Qur'an and Sunnah drove many Muslims to their accomplishments in science and medicine.

By the tenth century their zeal and enthusiasms for learning resulted in all essential Greek medical and scientific writings being translated into Arabic in Damascus, Cairo, and Baghdad. Arabic became the international language of learning and diplomacy. The center of scientific knowledge and activity shifted eastward, and Baghdad emerged as the capitol of the scientific world. The Muslims became scientific innovators with originality and productivity.

For example Islamic medicine is one of the most famous and best known facets of Islamic civilization, and in which the Muslims most excelled. The Muslims were the great torchbearers of international scientific research. Some of the best and most eloquent praises of science ever written came from the pens of Muslim scientists who considered their work to be acts of worship. The same motives led to the establishment of Al-Azhar (800 AD) the first university in the world. They hit the "source ball of knowledge" over the fence to Europe. In the words of Campbell, "The European medical system is Arabian not only in origin but also in its structure. The Arabs are the intellectual forebearers of the Europeans."

One of the secrets of success in any profession is to be the most learned or best-informed person in his/her own profession. Learning is a pleasure. It is not, then one should cultivate the enjoyment associated with learning. Although the pleasure of learning is universal, there are many dull incurious people in the world. There are several reasons for this. Some people are made dull by bad teaching, isolation and following a routine life-style. For some people it is the pressure of hard work and poverty. For those who are rich, their ephemeral and trivial delights come in the way of the pleasures of learning. The human mind can survive not only poverty but also even wealth with luck, determination and guidance.

For example I come from a poor family and due to poor teaching I lost interest in learning mathematics. As a result I scored only 39% in mathematics (35% required for a pass) in S. S. L. C. (Secondary School Leaving Certificate, India) in the Intermediate Science examination I scored 50% in mathematics. When I entered the Bachelor of Science degree class, I realized there is no way I can escape from mathematics and I resolved to conquer mathematics. With determination I found pleasure in learning mathematics by myself. The pleasure was akin to one derives in falling love with his/her beloved girl/boy friend or would be wife/husband. This pleasure changed my whole life. I started to score 100% in mathematics in all the class tests and mid-term examinations. In the final B.Sc. examination I scored more than 70% in mathematics.

Take the example of Archimedes. When he discovered the principle of specific gravity by observing his own displacement of water in a bath tub, he leaped out with great joy, and shouted, "Eureka, Eureka!" ("I have found it. I have found it!"). He was overwhelmed with joy and ran naked. All children possess the same instinct which prompted his outburst, and the rapture of its Gratification.

Learning is a natural pleasure. This pleasure is inborn and instinctive. The pleasure of learning is one of the essential pleasures of the human race. Without learning, survival itself is threatened. It is said that the propagation of the human race might be endangered if the knowledge of sex through seeing, reading or hearing is withheld from everyone.

The process of learning starts right after birth. It is true that babies who can barely talk investigate problems with all the zeal and excitement of explorers, make discoveries with the passion and absorption of dedicated scientists. At the end of each successful investigation, one can see on the tiny face an expression of innocent and pure heartfelt pleasure. The process of physical growth stops when a boy or girl reaches puberty, that is with the on set of menarche in the girls and with the change in the voice and growth of moustache and beard in boys. After puberty it is impossible to increase the height both in boys and girls. It is only possible to increase their widths by fattening.

On the other hand the mental faculties grow from birth until death. At some point in our lifetime, the physical body becomes sick or ill and gradually dies; even the emotions become duller. But the mind continues to live, and even grows more lively and active, enjoys itself more, works and plays with more expansion and delight. I have seen grand parents obtaining B. A., M. A and Ph. D. degrees at the ages of 70, 80 or 90. There are many examples in the history of Art, Music and Science, of both men and women who significantly contributed and lead mentally productive lives at their ripe old ages. My own grandmother at 90 has vivid memories and narrates events, which occurred 70 or 80 years ago in her young age, very clearly.

Learning extends our lives into new dimensions. It is cumulative. Instead of diminishing in time, like health and strength, its dividends go on increasing, provided one continues to learn throughout life and integrate the thoughts and make learning harmonious. One should make it a point to learn at least one new information each day. Now one can learn even during sleep. This is accomplished with headphones attached to the ears and repeats playing of phonographs or taped cassettes. This method of sleep-learning is found most useful in linguistics- to learn new languages.

The pleasure of learning is not confined to learning from textbooks, which are too often tedious. But it does include learning from book magazines (periodicals), newspapers, and movies. T. V., radio and traveler when you stand in a big library infront of thousands of books do not think they are lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. Each has its own voice, which is as inaudible as the radiobroadcast waves falling directly on t ears. Just as one switches on the radio to hear. So does one just need to open a book to hear the voice far distant in time and space? One can hear the voice speaking, mind to mind, and heart to heart. Reading of books gives you two different delights. One is the pleasure of understanding the unknown and the unexpected. The other pleasure is of deepening one's knowledge of a specified field.

Apart from books, learning means keeping the mind open and active to receive all kinds of experience. The Mahabharatha says " Learn from the Environment and absorb the good things." As pointed out earlier there is great emphasis on learning and seeking knowledge in Islam. The Prophet Mohammed ordered Muslims to be active in their search for learning, crossing oceans and continents if necessary. " Seek knowledge even in China" he said. Learning also means learning to practice one' s own professional skills-that of a surgeon, musician or craftsman. Otherwise one can at least develop the ability l appreciate an art. Crafts and hobbies lead you into fresh fields of enjoyment and give you relaxation and activity without tension. You should know that tension is the prime cause of heart attacks, ulcers, hypertension, and most of the human diseases. Travel is an important part of the pleasures of learning. There are many examples of best-informed people who never read books and newspapers,
but acquired excellent knowledge through travelling. One should travel with an open mind, all alert eye and a wish to understand other people and other places.

Everybody knows ''Knowledge is Power" but now I can say "Knowledge is Wealth". For the more learned you are, the more money you can earn. It is fitting here to tell you the story of Diogenes, the great Greek philosopher who lived during the time of Alexander the Great. Diogenes was a very learned man and he shunned both power and wealth. Hence he was called a cynic. He was known to have wandered searching for an honest man carrying a lantern during day and night. He gave up everything he possessed, except a coconut shell for drinking water. One day he saw a man drinking water forming a cup with his hand. After seeing this Diogenes threw away his last possession the coconut shell. The name of Diogenes spread throughout Greece. Alexander the Great heard about Diogenes and one day decided to see him. Mounted on horseback, Alexander the Great went to Diogenes who was sitting on the ground. Alexander said ' Oh Diogenes, I have heard a great deal about you and your life. I am very much
impressed by your life and it is my earnest desire to help you in whatever way I can. Please let me know your desires so that I can fulfil them". To which Diogenes replied "Your Excellency my only request is that you get aside and allow the sun's rays to fall on my body." Alexander the Great was deeply moved by Diogenes's reply and said "If I were not Alexander the Great. I would be Diogenes." Now the point I want to make here is that Diogenes never went to Alexander the Great, but that Alexander the Great came to Diogenes for he was such a learned philosopher.

There are many people in this world who have played themselves to death, or eaten and drunk themselves to death. Nobody ever died because of thinking or learning. People who avoid learning, or abandon it, find no joy in life, find that life is drained dry. No learner has ever run short of subjects to explore. The pleasures of learning lead to happiness. One can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning. Learning is everyone's birthright. Everyone - young or old, rich or poor, male or female, has access to learning. Exercise your birthright. Remember what you have learned cannot be stolen by others.

Copyright © 2001 irfiweb.org All Rights Reserved. http://www.islamfortoday.com/syed05.htm

Keeping your children Muslim in America

"Fatima" was a young, practicing Muslimah. At 13, she was part of a family that tried to apply Islam in all aspects of life. They were role models for their local Muslim community. They were one of the very few Muslim families who did not even have a television set in their home.
Fatima talked about Islam enthusiastically, got good grades, respected her parents. While she did do some homeschooling, much of her time was spent in public school where she made sure to pray on time, wore her Hijab with pride and was active in encouraging others to do the same,
But then things changed.
She began smoking. Her Hijab came off. And on her 18th birthday, she ran away from home and eloped with a boyfriend she had been seeing for some time.
Fatima's story is not new. Nor is it uncommon.
What went wrong? How could someone from a family that had tried so hard to maintain an Islamic environment, struggled to raise kids who were practicing Muslims, take a turn on the wrong path?
No human being is an island. What happens to our neighbor, our children's classmates and our coworkers can very likely happen to us whether that's a soaring divorce rate, family miscommunication, domestic violence or the loss of religious values.
In other words, society's problems are not the problems of "those people out there". They are our problems, and if we ignore them they will come creeping up to us at one point.
The secret to keeping your kids practicing Muslims
Parents who practice Islam, an Islamic home environment, limited exposure to media with unIslamic messages: these are some of the ingredients Muslims often promote for ensuring their children are raised as good Muslims.
But these alone are not the solution. Such an approach works for a number of Muslim kids, but not for all. Fatima's example above should make that very clear.
It takes a bigger task than all of that: it takes making the society around you better.
Caring is the first step
Making the West, this powerful entity which has dominated Muslims' lives for over 300 years in the military, political and cultural spheres, obedient to God, is an awesome, and some would say virtually impossible task.
How can we make the West or America an Islamic place? It's by caring about the future not just of our own kids, but by caring about the future of others. From "these Kafirs" to "my people"
How many of us have caught ourselves saying it, whether to our kids or to our friends or under our breath: "these Kafirs" and their corruption; "these Kafirs (unbelievers)" and their mentality; "these Kaffir children" and their perverse, immoral ways?
If you have, you're not alone. This attitude though, was not the one adopted by Allah's Prophets.
In the Quran, the Prophets would say "Qawmi" (my people). They preached and persuaded and endured persecution to bring the guidance if God to their people. They did all of these things because they cared about their people. They cared that these people, their people, were headed on the road to Hell and misery in this world and the next. They did everything in their power to preach and persuade their people to accept the Truth so they would be saved. They were motivated by a mission, by a sense of responsibility, and a feeling of deep concern for those around them.
They refused to isolate themselves and their followers. They kept inviting and calling. Most importantly, they kept caring. They realized that this was a cause worth fighting for because they cared about humanity: men, women, poor, rich, believers, nonbelievers.
Lessons for us
Inviting others to the Creator is not a responsibility for just Prophets or those claiming to belong to groups that specialize in this task.
It is our responsibility.
We cannot present our message if we have contempt and disgust for those around us.
How can we expect our children to be saved from smoking if we don't care about our neighbor's child, whose parent is a chain smoker while she is getting sick because of it in front of our eyes?
How can we say we want our children to go to safe schools if we refuse to work with other parents, Muslim and non-Muslim, to ensure not just our kids, but all kids at the school are safe?
America: the good life, but with a price
Most Muslims who come to the West come to seek educational, employment and economic opportunities. They come seeking the good life they could not find back home.
But this good life comes at a cost: the struggle to maintain Islam in an environment in many ways diametrically opposed to Islamic values.
A very small number choose to go back. Some decide to fight it out by struggling to curb the negative influences, like Fatima's parents. But many simply give up and allow themselves to be washed away in the wave of assimilation.
Parents in the last two groups may look back and lament over how they lost their children. Some of them may think they did all they could: shelter their children, teach them right and wrong, provide a good home environment, etc.
But these parents forgot one thing. They forgot that in this land of opportunity in which they sought wealth and prosperity, there was opportunity for something else too: to invite others to the Truth of Islam.
To care about the things other parents cared about. To form a common agenda which could not only have saved their children and helped them to keep their Islam intact, but which would have also given back to the community they had chosen to make their home. To care as the Prophets cared about not just their own families, but the families and the children of all, not just the converted few.

In The Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful

Religious groups close cultural gap

by Erin Fitzgerald

Accepting differences and celebrating diversity is the idea behind a joint program by Syracuse University's Hillel and Muslim Student Association starting next week.
The program, "Search for Understanding," will include events ranging from discussions to concerts starting next week and will last through the remainder of the spring semester.
University Union president and Hillel member Dennis Jacobs said he believes deeply in this collaboration.
"I think it is fantastic to have Hillel and MSA join together to put on such events," Jacobs said. "There is such a stigma right now, not only here, but nationally, about these certain groups not working together."
Jacob Perlin, a freshman majoring in television, radio and film, has helped greatly with this program as the cultural vice president in Hillel.
"I think this collaboration is great," Perlin said. "It sends a message to the Syracuse community about working together to achieve understanding and create future learning opportunities."
Both groups hope that by putting on this program, other unlikely collaborations will take place on campus. Tamanna Mansury, a freshman member of MSA majoring in biology, believes a program such as this one will "ignite others to do the same."
"I really think that one of the many problems is getting two groups to mingle." Mansury said. "This idea and this program is really a step above."
The idea for such a program came after Chancellor Nancy Cantor challenged the Syracuse campus and community to celebrate diversity, Perlin said.
"'Search for Understanding' came from an effort to form a connection between our two organizations so we can learn from each other," Perlin said.
The program begins Monday, March 7 at 6 p.m. with the discussion, "Judaism and Islam 101," held at the Winnick Hillel Center.
The program continues with a performance by comedians Rabbi Bob Alper and Ahmed Ahmed. The Jewish-Muslim duo will help to bridge the gap between the two religions here on campus. Jacobs, Perlin and Mansury all said this is the event they are looking most forward to.
Hillel and MSA will also present a reggae concert, interfaith dinner, lecture and Middle East forum at the Syracuse Film Festival before the end of the Spring semester.
"The purpose of the program is to create one event that can and will benefit so many people," Jacobs said.
Students and community members are encouraged to attend the events in hopes they will learn more about the two religions and what they can do together, Jacobs said.

Humbleness

Shaykh Salman al-`Awdah

Humbleness is to know the value of oneself, to avoid pride, or disregarding the truth and underestimating people. As the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam said, according to Muslim and others, "Al-Kibr is rejecting the truth and looking down upon people" [Muslim, Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]. Humbleness is for one who is important and significant and he fears to gain notoriety or to become too great among people. As it was said, "Humble yourself, you will be as a glimmering star to the viewer on the surface of the water even if it is lofty." We don't say to an ordinary person, "Humble yourself." But it is said to him, "Know the value of yourself, and do not place it in the wrong place!"

It was narrated by al-Khattabi in al-Uzlah that Imaam `Abdullah bin al-Mubaarak came to Khuraassaan [in Persia] and went to a person who was known for his zuhd and wara' [asceticism and cautiousness in piety], so when he entered where the man was, he (the man) did not turn around nor give him any consideration at all. When 'Abdullah bin al-Mubaarak left, some of the people who were inside with the man said to him, "Don't you know who that was?!" He said, "No," He was told, "This is the 'Amir of the believers...this is... this is... this is... `Abdullah bin al-Mubaarak." So the man was astonished and came out to Ibn al-Mubaarak in a hurry apologizing and absolving himself from what happened, saying, "O Abu 'Abd al-Rahmaan! Forgive me and advise me!" Ibn al-Mubaarak said, "Yes... whenever you come out of your house and see someone, assume that he is better than you!" He knew that the man was conceited. When Ibn al-Mubaarak inquired as to what the man's profession was, he found out that
he was a weaver!! [See comments of adh-Dhahabi in aI-Mizaan concerning Waasil bin Ata'a]. Therefore, this educated Imam noticed that this mutazahid (devoted pious person) possessed a kind of arrogance, conceitedness and feeling of superiority over others.

This disease sometimes envelops pious people; this is why he offered advice that was easy for him. Many times we find this characteristic in some of the pious people, as well as some of the duaat. But when it reaches the small students who misbehave with their shaykhs, scholars and teachers this really hurts inside! There is no objection if you differ in opinion or judgement with a scholar or a daai'ya as long as you are qualified to do so The problem occurs when this difference of opinion becomes a destructive element to the scholar's dignity, diminishes his value, disregards and disrespects him. This may be accepted from the common people, or from the people of innovation and misguidance, but it is not allowed in any circumstance for Ahl-As Sunnah and from the students of `Ilm al-Shariyyah. Surely the scholars of Ahl as Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah in particular, are requested to call for that which is good and to forbid the forbidden, as well as to take into consideration the prominent
people... if they are disappointed by the closest people to them, then they are not expected to react in the same manner. Therefore one of them is like a brave knight who is only supported by women! That is, if the Ahl as Sunnah protected their scholars' honor, and knew their value, and encircled them, they could have carried the duty of calling for that which is good and forbidding the forbidden in the correct way. But when a scholar is disappointed from among his own circles, he can't say anything. How sad it is that some people of innovation on the contrary reached the point that they even grant their shaykhs and masters some kind of sanctity, blindly follow behind them.

This is in reality a kind of slavery and dissolution of the follower into the followed. This is the practice of the Batiniyya groups through the ages, in such a manner that it conditions its individuals to give a certain degree of al-`isma (protection from error) to their leaders and Imams. Even the Mu`atazila, the ones who practice "rationalism" and almost have no place for emotions... one of their poets said about their Shaykh Waasil bin Ata'a, "He has, behind the sea of China to it's farthest parts, and in every place behind the barbarians, men (duaat) whose leader is not weakened by the irony of a tyrant... nor by the plot of a deceiver ... They are the people of Allah's religion in every place, and the lords of its fatawa and the science of dispute." And the people of the Sunnah are worthier of evaluation and respect of their scholars. There is no good in a nation where the young do not respect the older, and the older do not have mercy on the younger. It is from the humbleness,
from knowing the self value that the young beginner should not look at himself as a rival to this or that scholar, and say, "They are men... and we are men"!! As a matter of fact, manhood differs, that is, the description of manhood in the Noble Qur'an was addressed in a form of glorification in many places, "...in it are men who love that they should be purified…" (Surat al-Tawba:108) and, "In houses which Allah has ordered to be raised, and that His name may be remembered therein; they glorify Him in the mornings and the evenings. Men whom neither merchandise nor trade divert from the remembrance of Allah and keeping to prayer and giving zakah. They fear a day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about..." (Surat al-Nur: 36-37). Manhood also refers only to masculinity in other places: "And that men from among people used to seek refuge with men from among jinn..." (Surat al-Jinn:6) Therefore, men are not all the same.

Humbleness is that one should humble himself with his companions. Frequently when the spirit of competition and envy is agitated between companions and rivals, a person may feel superior over his companion, he may be pleased by harming him, degrading his value and importance, accusing him of defects or exaggerating his faults. Faults that may have come to light when seeking advice, or correction. In reality this is what is called jealousy. It is amazing that the daa`iya becomes jealous about the gathering of a thousand or two at a meeting of knowledge or da`wah but he will not have any kind of reaction if he heard that twenty of thirty thousand people attended a concert or a sports event. By Allah, this is sad, for even if you were not pleased with your brother about something, it should be sufficient for you that he is calling to Allah ta`ala and teaching people the Deen and is sincere in general. In fact, he may even be correct in some of the things that you criticized him about.

Humbleness is to humble oneself to one who is below you. If you find someone who is younger than you, or of less importance than you, you should not despise him, because he might have a better heart than you, or be less sinful, or closer to Allah than you. Even if you see a sinful person and you are righteous, do not act in arrogance towards him, and thank Allah that He saved you from the tribulation that He put him through. Remember that there might be some riyaa' or vanity in your righteous deeds that may cause them to be of no avail, and that this sinful person may be regretful and fearful concerning his bad deeds, and this may be the cause of forgiveness of his sins.

According to Jundub, may Allah be pleased with him, the Messenger of Allah a mentioned that a man said, "By Allah, Allah will not forgive so-and-so," and that Allah Ta`ala said, "Who is swearing by Me that I will not forgive so-and-so? I surely have forgiven so-and-so and nullified your deed" [Muslim]. Therefore, do not act in arrogance towards anyone. Even when you see a sinner, do not act superior towards him, nor treat him with arrogance and domination. If you feel that the sinner may perform some acts of obedience which you do not, and that you may also posses some defects which the sinner may not, then deal kindly with him, and gently give da`wah which will hopefully be the cause of his acceptance and remembrance.

Humbleness is that your deed should not become too great in your eyes. If you do a good deed, or attempt to get closer to Allah ta`ala through an act of obedience, your deed still may not be accepted, "Allah only accepts from those who have taqwa." (Surat al-Maida: 27) This is why some of the Salaf said, "If I knew that Allah accepted one tasbeeh from me, I would have wished to die right now!"

Humbleness is that, when you are advised, if Shaytaan calls you to reject the advice, you must negate him. Because the purpose of advice is that your brother points out the defects that you have. As for he who Allah ta`ala has protected, if he finds one who will advise him and show him his defects, he'll overcome his nafs, accept from him, thank and make du`aa for him. This is why He sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam said, "Al-Kibr is rejecting the truth and despising the people" [Muslim, Tirmidhi, and Abu Dawud]. The arrogant never gives credit to anybody or mentions good about someone, and if he needed to do so, he would also mention five defects of that person. But if he hears somebody reminding him about his own defects, he will not be flexible nor comply due to his inferiority complex. This is why it is among man's moral integrity to accept criticism or comment without any sensitivity or discomfort or feelings of shame and weakness. Here he is, The 'Amir of the Believers `Umar, may
Allah be pleased with him, raising the flag and lifting the motto,

"May Allah have mercy on a person who informed us of our defects."

Give Thanks To Allah

Wednesday, Safar 6, 1426 H, March 16, 2005

Assalam alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuh.

Thank Allah

Okay, so I admit I woke up a bit late today. Alright, alright, quite late. My stomach was growling and rightly so. Grabbed a slice of yellow cake and was on my way. Yeah, it's obvious isn't it? I'm trying to lose some weight here. Hey, aren't we all? Obesity is one of the biggest problems facing the developed world these days. Seems like the fatter our wallets get, the fatter our bodies become. What else do you with the money? If you can't eat up and enjoy life, money, won't matter much, huh?

Easy to say, easy to laugh about. But not if you're one of those who wake up in the morning, knowing that they need to line up in front of the relief center for something to eat. It's not such a light thing if you go to sleep on an empty stomach and wake up the next day to an empty refrigerator (or basket). Or if you had to live on food coupons and welfare. Or if you were in a refugee camp, with no gas to light a stove or flour to bake or rice to cook. Or if you had to fight with your neighbor for those last drops of clean, cold water. Or show your malnutritioned baby to convince that worn-out aid worker that you need that can of oil more than your own friend.

So, next time you pop a muffin in your mouth without giving it a second thought, stop right there and thank Allah. And when you come back from school and mom says its veggies day, don't you make a face, but think of those who'd do anything for even that. And when you rummage the refrigerator, looking for that favorite bar of milk chocolate and you don't find it, don't slam that door in frustration, rather thank Allah that at least you own a fridge, and a full one at that. And when you want to hang out with your buddies after dinner with mom and dad and you wolf down that food to get it over with, pause and think of how many people you could feed with those morsels.

Look at your kitchen today and thank Allah for food that keeps you going. Be grateful to Him and give some out in charity, even if it's half a date.

Help me be thankful
Appreciate food by:
- Knowing that malnutrition contributes to the deaths of more than 6 million children under age five each year (UNICEF); 5 and 20 million people die of starvation, every year.
- Knowing that one billion people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition.
- Knowing that about 24,000 people die each day from hunger or hunger-related causes.
- Talking to a worker at your local soup shelter or an aid worker dispatched to countries abroad.
- Opening your refrigerator and/or kitchen cabinets anytime and seeing that there is food there.
- Inviting the needy to share in your lunch.

Words of wisdom
"And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sâbirin (the patient ones, etc.). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: "Truly! To Allâh we belong and truly, to Him we shall return." They are those on whom are the Salawât (i.e. blessings, etc.) (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones." (Quran 2:155-157)

Resolutions
I am thankful for food and I will:
- say 'Bismillah' (In the Name of Allah) before I eat food and 'Alhamdulillah' (all praise be to Allah) after.
- take care of my body by eating only that which will benefit it.
- keep away from junk food.
- make sure my neighbor or friend does not go hungry while I eat to my fill.
- cook or buy some lunch and distribute it to those guys who have no families, occasionally.
- not complain about the food served in front of me; if I like it, I should eat it and if I don't, I will simply abstain.
- eat only Halal food and meat which is slaughtered Islamically.
- eat with my right hand and from what is in front of me.
- not insist on consuming what Allah has forbidden, such as pork and wine.
- eat not till my stomach feels like it's going to burst, but rather, a moderate amount; 1/3 for food, 1/3 for water and 1/3 for air, as the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam advised.

Thank Allah... Online
The Hunger Site - http://www.thehungersite.com

The Fundamentals of Christianity and Islam

After reading many postings on Christian newsgroups and Muslimnewsgroups I have noticed there are many posts which are aimed at converting people from one faith to their own faith but very little effort being made to understand the differences between the Monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Above all there is a mass of postings made by Christians attempting to teach Muslims the message of Jesus and Christianity. I myself am a Muslim(Islam) and find it very disturbing that so many Christians seem to have little to no understanding of just what it is that Muslims believe.Perhaps as a Christian you have no wish to understand either since youhave found a set of teachings that you believe are the truth and have therefore dismissed all other religions as being false religions. As a Muslim my religion is Islam and the scripture that I try to live my life by is the Qur'an. In the Qur'an it is written that humans should question all things and that God expects and encourages this as the way to find truth. Like Christians we also believe that when youhere the truth (be it gods will) you will know it and recognize it if you use reason. I am sure that as Christians you will believe the samething since to encourage blind belief in something is simply to encourage mental suicide. The aim of writing this post is not to attempt to convert Christians to Islam but to point out a difference in beliefs that will hopefully bring about greater understanding and harmony between the two faiths...As a Christian you can only benefit by knowing the mindset of someone of a different faith...who knows you may even end up converting someone with this information.I know that I have benefited by reading bible text to understandwhere Christian beliefs and mentality is coming from. I am about to attempt to give a crash course on the central Muslim belief without boring you with pages and pages of detail...I am going to try to explain why I choose Islam over Christianity as my religion. Before I put my case I would like to repeat that both Christians and Muslims believe that when you here truth you know it and cannot find fault in it nor deny it. As a Muslim I believe that gods people do not live in one grouping of people on the planet...ie.....come judgment day it is not going to be all those who called themselves Muslims, or Christians,or Jews that are going to ascend to heaven but it will be a very mixed composition of people that does not take into account such superficial things as religious label be it Jew Christian or Muslim, country of residence, or color of skin, Everyone's fate will be decided by their actions and the words that flow from their hands and lips. I believe this is what the prophets were teaching in scripture...one such example being Jesus when he implied: not all who come with my message are of Gods people (or something to that effect). Everyone's fate will be determined by Gods judgment and not human judgment since God is the knower of all things both seen and unseen in the heart. To suggest such a theory as come judgment day all the Muslims/Christians/Jews living insuch and such a country will be "the righteous" and all the rest will face the punishment of God for their sins is a very simplistic black and white view and is far away from a rational mind and the teachings of any religious texts. It is also a very dangerous fanatical way of thinking. Life would be a lot easier if everyone's labels matched the way they behaved and what was in their hearts but sadly this is far from reality. I think the following quote sums up this belief:"Religion is not a club you can join. Your religion is something youwill drift in and out of throughout your life dependant on your behavior. Your fate salvation and guidance in this life and the next are not decided by the label you go by. be it agnostic Christian, Jew,or Muslim, but by your actions, the words that flow from your lips, and what you truly believe in your heart. This is my religion, your religion, and everybody's religion......the name of this religion and teaching is XXXXX" Of course this viewpoint is not unique to Islam, which is why I put XXXXX instead of Islam, I'm sure many Christians reading this can relate to this wisdom when they read it, and I'm sure many would tell me this is Christianity too.Many Christians would be surprised at reading the Qur'an.......the scripture is very much the same as the bible and tells the same stories of the profits and has the same moral messages...sometimes with slight variation in historic events but mostly the same. Muslims Claim that Mohamed was the last profit and was given the message of God so that he can correct the human Corruption of the original message of the prophets before him, much the same as Christians believe Jesus was given the message of God to confirm what the Jews had already received.........The question begs to be asked What was this message that god wants us to understand? you can only look at the scripture ofthe Jews, Christians, and Muslims to decide....what were the prophets teaching? What is the common theme found in all the prophets' teachings? Here is the Muslim Version and the crash course in Qur'an! Muslims believe that gods message was that humans should not make partners with god. And that there is only one god and all praise belongs to Him alone. As Christians I am sure this is not a new concept to you either and that you have read this many times in your own scripture. But what exactly is meant by "do not make partners with God"?. Muslims believe that by making "intercession" between a human and god is the one thing that defines being a believer or someonewho is astray. In other words by assigning authority/power to anything other than god is in direct contradiction of gods will and message of unity. When humans assign symbols, statues, create hierarchies insociety with saints and kings, and create semi gods like the goldencalf the Jews created when Moses went up the mountain or are tempted byother values such as Abraham was we are at the same time creating division among people and causing people to see others as different dueto the limitations of our senses. If you take away Christian crucifixes, saints (holy men), statues of Jesus, (holy buildings andshrines), semi gods, nationalism, pictures of idol worship and allforms of "Partners with God" what differences are remaining between mankind???......... NONE! If these semi dietys were removed the world would have only one religion and total unification. All religions seem to be preaching the same fundamental beliefs of right over wrong, good leads to good and bad leads to bad (karma), love concors hate,generosity, charity, and abandonment of the things of this world that corrupt us. There are countless expressions of the same feelings mankind experiences to be found in a huge variety of separate religious groups. Does any one religion have the arrogance to claim to have the monopoly on believing in such things as peace, love, forgiveness,patience, perseverance, etc?..........How many wars have been foughtand how many lives have been lost because of power being assigned to the things of this life and people assuming they must be different because they have different titles but are in fact feeling the same universal thoughts? .....When you look around you will find that this is the root cause of all segregation and evil...People kill to protect(so called) holy buildings and shrines, they will kill to protect their fellow man and community because they have the same religious label as him with no regard for the fact someone's true religion is based onhis behavior actions and attitude. Even the instincts of atheists willsay that this is what turns them away from religion. One such examplewas when the French government recently gave an order to ban all religious symbols in schools because they said it was the root cause of all conflict between the different faiths.... They even went to the extreme of banning Muslim women from wearing head scalfs because they said it made them stand out as being different from others.....The very reason Muslims dress as they do is because Islam teaches them to dress with plain modest clothing that will guard against being seen as a sexual object and so that people will more easily judge you for your character over the pressure of superficial beauty. Dress must also not draw attention with fancy clothing!...So who is to decide what dress should be the standard and is the most modest and the norm? If you go so Saudi Arabia all people ware the same modest Muslim clothing andthere is no one person standing out from the rest!. ...Muslims believe that in order to find guidance to the truth you must first give up all forms of "shirk" (partner worship) and connect with Gods guidance directly without any intercession. Muslims believe Gods central message was the concept of unity and that this can only be achieved by giving up the catalyst "shirk" in all its forms. It is the defining line between devotion to God and those who have gone astray with temptation to invest in something other than God. To become a Muslim, Muslims must say in the company of other Muslim witnesses, "There is no God but God and Mohamed was the last messenger of God" and also carry out this creed in practice by avoiding all forms of shirk
Here are some other examples of "shirk
1. Listening to the directions of another person including religious directions before listening to your own instincts.
2. Nationalism...since this involves following orders given by another person's beliefs before listening to your own conscience given by God
3. Promoting someone or something above the level of ordinary man (the opposite of modesty)
4. Promoting anything above its natural level....rocks, symbols,statues and buildings etc which many people have been known to defend with their lives and kill for.
5. Debating with another suggesting that you both believe in differentGods....hence the saying: "Your God is my God, and My God is yourGod" which is to be said when another person tries to engage you inreligious debate.
6. Giving admiration to another because of the position of authority over others simply because of wealth, fame, or blood line etc.
7. putting your love and admiration into a sports team to the extent that you will be hostile to others to protect your love of it.
8. The protection of a group of people based on their title.Ie...taking the side of a person or nation of people simply because they call themselves Muslim or Christian.
The shirk in this example is a case of black and white generalistic group mentality thinking that all the good people live in one place under one title and all the bad people live someplace else under another title. A kind of tendency tojudge someone/something as good or bad because of the label associatedwith them. Idealistic thinking can be a dangerous thing. In this case the mere word "Muslims" or "Christians" can become the idealistic object of shirk An imaginary purist army of true believers that people will support without question. The side you take in adispute should be based on the persons actions rather than their titles, since somebodys religion is their action rather than their title.Muslims believe that Jesus was a Prophet of God and that he taught theabove message of unity and love to mankind. Muslims believe that Jesus was not the "son of god" or God himself, but was a man who had weaknesses as we all do and was a "messenger for God". The same goes for the last prophet Mohamed who warned his followers not to worship him or his grave when he died. Muslims believe Mohamed was born so that mankind was given Gods message of unity one last time and awarning for those who had and will go against this message of love andunity by practicing shirk. Muslims believe that the only true guidancein this life is found through giving up all forms of "Shirk" inword and practice. It is the defining line between receiving guidance and being on the strait path and being missguided. Muslims believe that when some Christians say: "Jesus the son of God" or "Jesus isGod" this is assigning special power to an object/person of this life(shirk/ Making Partners with God). It is a strong temptation in life for a person to want to find the comfort of a symbolic focus point of some kind to express their natural tendancy to give worship and prayer and request guidance. The Qur'an teaches that this is Satan trying to tempt mankind with the easy option away from Gods will instead of the more difficult path of abandoning all "shirk" by worshipping directly. One such funny example of this can be found in the MontyPython movie "the life of brian", everywhere Brian goes he has crowds of followers trying to worship him as a God. When he trips and stumbles and his shoe falls off, his unwanted followers are quick to pick it up and raise it to the sky and call it "the HOLY shoe".Mankind has been inventing religions this way since recorded history.It is the law of association and invention and is defined by the human trait of wishing to find what it is the soul is looking for in this lifetime by creating a symbolic reference to an idea we all feel inside(God). In an abstract way this is the direct opposite of the word"faith" which is what the prophets taught us to have. The Qur'an teaches that Jesus was a Prophet of God and that Jesus gave a message of love, peace, unity, and an example to not Split Gods Divinity withshirk. Muslims believe that man with human invention has corrupted certain parts of scripture in the bible. Qur'an teaches that mankind does NOT know what God is , he is unlike anything to which you will hear, smell, see, or think of...Muslims believe God is above the level of human comprehension,. When you take the belief of "Not making partners with God" and "Recognising but not claiming to know what God is" you have a very simplistic teaching:.....God exists!, there is only one correct answer/reality and one God which is the seat of all creation and events, , there is the creator and the created, unity and peace to all through not worshipping anythiny but God directly.....FULLSTOP!....to simplify this message further you can say: Something exists, and we can argue forever over which religion is the truth butat the end of the day there can logically only be one correct answer.to what creation is all about...An intresting point to the gravity of shirk is found in the observation of disputes between people. The next time you witness a debate ask yourself the question: Is their any shirk being practiced by either side? .....you will find that "Shirk" it is the number one catalyst of difference and dispute in the world in one form or anouther. I have included at the bottom of this article some examples from the bible, which in my opinion confirm the scripture has been altered to contradict other parts which have remained authentic to Gods message of unity. Muslims believe that Mohamed was the last prophet of God sent to conclude the message of unity that Jesus and the prophets before him taught and to put right those that had strayed once again into partner worshipping in all its forms but hewas rejected by many without the chance of explaining that he was not teaching a new religion but simply confirming once again the original message given to the Jews and Christians and to warn those who had corrupted scripture and unity with idol worship teachings and human invention. You can even find the Christian Ten Commandments in the Qur'an. As a Muslim I see a lot of idol worship being practiced by Christians (not all Christians) as well as other religions...i.e.superstition in crosses, the hierarchy of church organisations, and all worship being channeled in the direction of messengers, shrines,semi dietys. This to a Muslim is a direct contradiction to Islam since God expects his followers to set the example of unity in their actions and teachings and all power and Prayer belongs to God alone.Was Jesus the "Son of God" or "God Himself" or "a messenger prophet of God"?
The bible:
WORDS
Joh 7:16 Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
Joh 14:24 "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.
Joh 12:49 "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.WILL
Joh 4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.
Joh 6:38 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Lu 22:42 saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me;nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."POWER
Joh 5:30 "I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgmentis righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
Joh 8:42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me,for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord,but he sent me.KNOWLEDGE
Mr 13:32 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Mt 24:36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
Joh 7:16 So Jesus answered them, "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me;
STATUS
Mt 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Mr 10:18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 8:50 "And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges.
And So you have understood the fundamental message of Islam and the Koran.
The Ten Comandments in the Koran
1. Thou shall not take any god except one God."There is no other god beside GOD,"(47:19)He is the one God; there is no other god beside Him. ......(28:70)
2. Thou shall make no image of God There is nothing that equals (like) Him. (42:11)No visions can encompass Him, but He encompasses all visions. He is the Compassionate, the Cognizant.[6:103]"My Lord, make this a peaceful land, and protect me and my childrenfrom worshiping idols. (14:35)
3. Thou shall not use God's name in vain.Do not subject GOD's name to your casual swearing, that you may appear righteous, pious,or to attain credibility among the people. (2:224)
4. Thou shall honor thy mother and father.. ....and your parents shall behonored. As long as one or both of them live, you shall never say to them, "Uff"(the slightest gesture of annoyance),nor shall you shout at them; you shall treat them amicably. (17:23)
5. Thou shall not steal.The thief, male or female, you shall mark their hands as a punishment for their crime, and to serve as an example from GOD. GOD is Almighty, Most Wise. (5:38 -39)
6. ..... incur GOD's condemnation upon him, if he was lying. (24:7)Do not withhold any testimony by concealing what you had witnessed.Anyone who withholds a testimony is sinful at heart. (2:283)O you who believe, you shall be absolutely equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether the accused is rich or poor, GOD takes care of both. Therefore, do not be biased by your personal wishes. If you deviate or disregard (this commandment),then GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.[4:135]
7. Thou shall not kill.....anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder orhorrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. (5:32)"You shall not kill any person - for God has made life sacred - exceptin the course of justice. If one is killed unjustly, then we give hisheir authority to enforce justice. Thus, he shall not exceed the limits in avenging the murder, he will be helped."(17:33)
8. Thou shall not commit adulteryYou shall not commit adultery;it is a gross sin, and an evil behavior.(17:32)
9. You shall regard the parents, the relatives, the orphans, the poor,the related neighbor, the unrelated neighbor, the close associate, the traveling alien, and your servants. (4:36)And do not covet what we bestowed upon any other people. Such are temporary ornaments of this life, whereby we put them tothe test. What your Lord provides for you is far better, and everlasting.[20:131]
10. Thou shall keep the Sabbath holy.*the Sabbath was relinquished with the revelation of the Quran. We are told in the Quran that the Sabbath was only decreed for the Jews. (16:124)God, however ,ordered us to make every effort and drop all businesses to attend the equivalent congregational (Friday) prayer. This difference in day is to distinguish Muslim belief from other beliefs.O you who believe, when the Congregational Prayer (SalatAl-Jumu`ah) is announced on Friday,you shall hasten to the commemoration of GOD, and drop all business. . (62:9)
If you wish to find out more about Islam, I would suggest posting your questions to "mainstream" Islamic websites (sunni) to avoid dangerous sects which promote shirk and miss information.Placing questions in Google newsgroups is not always the best idea since the various faiths in the world go to great lengths to spread miss information about each other in the replies you will receive....much of which will be Qur'anic quotes taken completely out of context and twisted to give different meaning from people of other faiths. If you come across such quotations that seem to imply imoralityI would urge you to consider the following question: Is it likely that a prophet teaching love, peace, forgiveness, etc would be at the same time be teaching people to act in a unethical way?....or is it morelikely that such quotations such as speaking of lawful tactics ofwarfare or law system are to be used in only a last resort situation inthe protection of Gods message?....If you study the Koran you will notice that Koran does talk about law and punishment which to a Muslim are a necessary way of bringing about a just society and protecting fundermental beliefs...It must be noted that such laws have a strictlegal framework for deciding when enforcement becomes the last option available much as people understand the concept of self defense in Christianity in certain curcumstances. Such chapters in Koran are easily miss understood if taken out of context and missing the relevantinformation that accompanies them. Much of the information, which is taken as being harsh by other faiths, is in actual fact describing historical events rather than describing legal rulings which apply to modern times. Islam is a religion of peace and not a religion of hate as many will try to promote. If Muslims were to Judge Christianity's message by the standards of a few people called the Klu Klux Klan WHOBELIEVE ITS Gods work to burn black people alive at the stake we would be fools, ignorant, and unjust to do so, much the same as those who associate Islam with the actions of a hanfull of misguided fanatics are fools and unjust. I think it is much smarter to judge a religion through its text rather than through those who show the worst example as well as judge people on an individual basis rather than as a group.I would suggest avoiding all teachings that contradict the above principles of mono worship if you want to learn more about authentic mainstream Islamic beliefs.
PS. A FINAL NOTE: If this article has offended you in any way I would like to point out this was not my intention to cause offence. I have received a number of scathing attacks from those following various Christian theologies accusing me of posting miss information about Christianity. If my opinion does not conform to the same ideas you have yourself about how to interpret bible scripture then this is because each individual has his own mind and capability to understand concepts in different ways.... Only God knows which translation of scripture istrue and so I suggest we leave it up to him to put things right when weall reach the big upstairs instead of attempting to insult and attack.I have no interest to engage in religious debate with other faithssince I don't believe this is Gods will and the only reply you are likely to get is "Your God is my God, And My God is Your God" also this article is mass posted by multiple people and the poster is probably not the original author anyway...The intention of this article was to point out the many things Christianity and Islam have in common as well as highlight that much of the dispute between the different faiths is due to the limitations of understanding each other, which can be found in the communities of all world faiths. I invite you all to do the same as I have done and publish your own opinions on what scripture means to you in the newsgroups of your choice.Kind Regards...and hope my article inspired you with new ideas.........A.
KUR'AN
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[3:64]Say, "O followers of the scripture, let us come to alogical agreement between us and you: that we shall not
worship except GOD; that we never set up any idolsbesides Him, nor set up any human beings as lords besideGOD." If they turn away, say, "Bear witness that we are submitters."
If you have mass mailing software please put it to good use and massmail this article to as many Islamic and Christian websites and newsgroups as possible to help bring about a greater peace and understanding between the different faiths of this world.

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